logo
About Us Blog Contact Us +919212553175

Festivals & Cultural Events in Bhutan

Imbibed in the rich culture and blessed with a number of reasons to celebrate, Bhutan is not for nothing called the land of happiness. This Buddhist country never misses a reason to show gratitude be it towards Guru Rinpoche/Rimpoche (Guru Padmasambhava) or Mother Nature and it is evident with a large number of festivals it holds in a calendar year. Therefore, the yearly festival calendar of Bhutan is replete popular festival months and worth seeing events & activities. Almost every month there is a religious celebration in Bhutan called Tshechu which means ‘tenth day,’ corresponding to the birthday of Guru Rimpoche. In each Tshechu, the mask dance performed by monks (at the monasteries) is the prime attraction. The theme of the dance is mostly a popular legend/tale dating as far as the 8th century. Amongst the popular Tshechus in Bhutan are Paro and Thimphu Tshechu attended by a large number of people across the country who come with the belief that their sins will be washed by witnessing this event. These festivals are also amongst the top tourist attractions and a reason to travel to Bhutan for a festival holiday. Apart from the mask dance, other forms of Bhutanese dances and entertainment activities are also held during the Tshechus.

Apart from the popular Tsechus, a year in Bhutan is filled with many other celebrations that are a must-see. The Rhododendron festival near Thimphu, where around 46 species of rhododendron are exhibited, is one of the major festivals in Bhutan. A similar festival is Matsutake Mushroom Festival in Ura Valley where 40 species of mushroom are on display. In Ura, another grand festival takes place annually, known as Ura Yakchoe, in which the invoking and escorting of the statue of Chhana Dorje are the major attractions. It is also one of the most colourful festivals in Bhutan. The Haa Summer Festival is a popular tourism festival that gives an insight into the rich culture and history of Bhutan. Another worth seeing festival in Bhutan is Jhomolhari Mountain Festival where both nature and culture are celebrated including the existence of snow leopards. The Tour of the Dragon is an unusual festival to see in Bhutan, it is a bicycle race that commences from Bumthang and ends in the capital city, Thimphu via four major mountain passes in the country. There is so much the country has in store when it comes to festivals. Get all the insights on the Tshechus and other festivals in the country along with Bhutan Festivals dates of 2020, and major highlights of each festivity in this section.

Mark Your Calendar For These Top 10 Upcoming Festivals in Bhutan in 2020

S.No Festival Name Festival Dates
Starts on Ends on
1 Black Necked Crane Festival 11 November 2020 11 November 2020
2 Jakar Tshechu Festival 23 October 2020 27 October 2020
3 Jambay Lhakhang Drup 31 October 2020 03 November 2020
4 Talo Tshechu Festival 01 March 2020 04 March 2020
5 Punakha Drubchen Festival 02 March 2020 04 March 2020
6 Punakha Tshechu Festival 05 March 2020 07 March 2020
7 Tharpaling Thongdrol Festival 09 March 2020 09 March 2020
8 Ura Yakchoe Festival 04 April 2020 08 April 2020
9 Paro Tshechu Festival 04 April 2020 08 April 2020
10 Chorten Kora Festival 08 April 2020 08 April 2020

Must See Tourism Festivals & Cultural Events in Bhutan

X

Punakha Drubchen Festival Bhutan

Date (Mar 02-04, 2020)

Image

Honouring the victory of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal of Punakha over Tibetan Forces, Punankha Drubchen is celebrated annually in Bhutan as a major festival. The masked dance in which the story of the 17th century battle is re-enacted, is the major attraction of this festival in Bhutan. The venue of this festival that takes place in the month of March, is the imposing Punakha Dzong which is situated at the confluence of two rivers.

Punakha Tshechu Festival Bhutan

Date (Mar 05-07, 2020)

Image

Dubbed an important Tsechu (festival) in Bhutan, Punakha Tshechu marks the unfurling of the sacred Thongdrol of Guru Rimpoche/Padmasambhav. It is believed having a mere sight of the Thongdrol (large tapestry) washes away the sins of the people. Introduced in 2005, Punakha Tshechu honours the Buddhist teachings and contributions of Zhabdrung Rimpoche. The festival takes place soon after the popular Punakha Drubchen and in it too, the mask dance is the major attraction.

Image

A one-day festival in Bumthang, Tharpaling Thongdrol’s primary attraction is the unfurling of a giant Thongdrol or Thangaka (applique silk work). This popular festival in Bhutan takes place in Tharpaling and Chodarek Monastery which is seated on a high ridge overlooking the Chumey and Gaytsa villages. Before the festival, 10 days prayer ceremonies called the Moelam Chenmo are held by the monks for the people of the villages.

Gomphu Kora Festival Bhutan

Date (Apr 01 -03, 2020)

Image

Marking as the day of the triumph of good over evil, the Gomphukora festival is an important religious festival in Bhutan that is held in Trashiyangtse. The festival commemorates Guru Rinphoche who defeated an evil spirit known by the name Dikparaza or Myongkha. The major attraction of the festival is the circumambulation performed by devotees in the memory of Guru Rinpoche who is believed to have sat in medidation near a cave here.

Talo Tshechu Festival Bhutan

Date (Apr 01 -03, 2020)

Image

A three-day religious festival in Bhutan, Talo Tshechu takes place in the Monastery of the same name a short distance away from Punakha. This main highlights of this popular festival in Bhutan, are the mask dance, atsara (clown) dance, and the sacred Zhungdra (classical dance) by the Talo dance troops. Making this festival even more special are the he three songs of Mani Sum, which comprise the Zhundra set, which are performed at the end of each day of the festival.

Gasa Tshechu Festival Bhutan

Date (Apr 01 -03, 2020)

Image

A four-day festival, Gasa Tsechu is the biggest festival of the tiny district of Gasa. This festival in northwestern Bhutan takes place in the villages of Laya and Lunana. The major highlights in Gasa Tshechu are the local folk dances along with mask dances. Gasa is a community of highlanders who are known for their distinctive women dresses and jewellery.

Zhemgang Tshechu Festival Bhutan

Date (Apr 01 -03, 2020)

Image

Reckoned the biggest festival of the remote Zhemgang District, Zhemgang Tshechu commemorates the birth anniversary of Guru Rinpoche also known as Guru Padmasambhava. The major attractions of this festival in Bhutan are the mask dance through which ancient tales are narrated and the unfurling of a giant Thongdrol/Thangaka. The festival takes place in Zhemgang Dzong for three days in month of March/April.

Paro Tsechu Festival Bhutan

Date (Apr 04-08, 2020)

Image

One of the top two famous religious festivals in Bhutan, Paro Tshechu is held at the imposing Paro Dzong. The festival is being celebrated from 17th century with the consecration of Paro Dzong in 1644. It is a 5-day celebration in which mask dances are performed and on the final day the sacred and impressive Thongdrol (silk applique work) is unfurled for the people who come from all parts of the country.

Chorten Kora Festival Bhutan

Date (Apr 08 & 22, 2020)

Image

Also known as Dakpa Kora Festival, Chorten Kora Festival is the oldest religious festival in eastern Bhutan. The festival is held in Trashiyantse where people from Arunachal Pradesh also known as Dakpa visit to circumambulate Dakpa Kora. The Bhutanese pilgrims later join the Dakpas in circumambulation. This festival in Bhutan is dedicated to a young girl from Tawang who agreed to be buried alive in the stupa.

Domkhar Tshechu Festival Bhutan

Date (May 03-05, 2020)

Image

A three-day festival, Domkhar Tshechu is celebrated in Chumey Valley of Bumthang District. This famous event in Bhutan takes place in Domkhar Monastery which was built by Serkhong Truelku during the 18th century. The monastery is also considered to be his residence. The main attractions of Domkhar Tshechu are the Cham Dances (mask dances), folk dances, and the unfurling of large Thongdrols on the last day of the festival.